There were so many points in Midou Ban's life where things had taken abrupt turns for the worse that he had sworn off regret, but he kept regretting anyway.
For one, he regretted not having slept with Yamato. It was small and silly but then, most of his regrets were small and silly, because he didn't let himself think about the really big things. He didn't regret being born, he didn't regret that the taxi he took to the airport when he was eight hadn't crashed and killed him, before he could encounter all the heartaches Japan had lined up for him. He didn't regret leaving Maria, even when his stoumach was so empty that it hurt, even when he couldn't decide whether to sleep and have nightmares or stay awake and have worse. He didn't regret having met Yamato and Himiko, not even at the end.
Instead he regretted the little things, because they were more bearable. Things like having lost the last bite of sushi to Ginji, or taking the last sushi roll from Ginji when those big brown eyes were turned on him with innocent hunger. Things like not having remembered to fill his gas tank. Not having slept with Yamato was just about the top of the list, because it was the biggest thing he could regret without real hurt. At the time, he'd been grateful, even, that Yamato had been understanding and reasonable and not made him feel like a little kid about it. It was just a crush, and it was normal for a boy his age to be a little confused, and there was really nothing to worry about. At the time he'd been grateful that Yamato only kissed him, and didn't give him anything more to worry about.
In retrospect it stung. What even he had thought was a boyish crush at the time, through the shading of years, began to look like love. If Yamato were still alive, he thought, it wouldn't matter - but then again, if Yamato were still alive ...
... no. He wasn't going to think about that at all because it didn't happen, hadn't happened, wasn't going to have happened no matter how hard he wanted it to have.
As it was, Ban was still a virgin, and had begun to suspect he'd stay a virgin well into his twenties, if not his forties. However much he flirted with cute girls, his heart wasn't in it. It was nice to ogle them, it was really nice when they paid for dinner, it was occasionally nice to grope them. All very well and good and healthy. But the prospect of actually getting a cute girl in bed he wasn't quite so eager for.
He wondered about Himiko. She was practically his sister and he didn't want to think of her like that, but Yamato had been practically his brother and that hadn't stopped him thinking. Ban finally decided to put the idea aside until ... until Himiko turned seventeen, was a good way not to think about it too hard. Then, after the mess was over with (and he'd done what he promised Yamato), then he'd figure out what to do with his own feelings for her. He really didn't want to mess things up (not with Yamato's sister, not with the one he was sworn to protect, not with Himiko, who he loved, even if he didn't know how). So all that would have to wait until there was no possibility of its becoming another regret.
Ban didn't really like men, either. (Except maybe for Yamato.) So it confused him no end when he found himself watching Ginji. He wasn't a kid anymore, to have a stupid little-kid crush, and anyhow he'd know, wouldn't he? Besides, well, it would be stupid to think about Ginji that way. Ginji was his partner and his best friend and ... everything. Ginji was his entire world, was the thing. If it wern't for Ginji he would be living for his promise to Yamato and when that was over and done with he wouldn't be living for anything and then he wouldn't be living at all. But he had Ginji, and that was enough.
Maybe it wasn't as stupid as all that.
He was determined not to mess things up with Ginji, either, and he had no idea if it would mess things up to look at him like that. Probably not. After all, this was Ginji, who was sweet and understanding and loved everyone. Ginji didn't dwell on things. Ginji had regrets, too, but they were all big ones, because he let little things slide. He didn't care who got the last sushi roll for more than ten seconds afterwards. He considered car breakdowns added variety to life. And he regretted the things that Raitei had done, but he accepted them too, knew that all that was in the past now. That he wasn't Raitei anymore, and it didn't matter.
He had the biggest, sunniest grin Ban had ever seen, and the most wide-open heart. Ban told himself it was no wonder he kept thinking of kissing Ginji, not when he smiled like that. Everyone who saw that smile fell in love with it. He wondered if it wasn't Ginji who was really responsible for Himiko forgiving him. After all, Ginji had been smiling at her even while she was trying to kill him.
It was stupid to be jealous, he told himself. Ginji smiled at everyone. It didn't mean anything. It was just his imagination that Ginji's smile was a little warmer for him (and why did he care? why did he like that idea?) than anyone else. If Ginji was interested, he'd make a move. He hadn't, so he wasn't. (Never mind that Ginji was too innocent and too doubtful to even raise the possibility.) Never mind that he kept dreaming about it.
He did regret, though, that the question was still there. He should have asked it long ago, if Ginji wouldn't. Either know that there was a spark (hah!) between them, and make an exception for Ginji (who he did love, even if he didn't know how), or know that it was nothing but his lonely imagination.
Ban wouldn't regret making an exception for Ginji. Ginji was an exception to everything, anyway.